Songhai Concepts

Media Literacy/Digital Archiving Instructor

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Jambo & Baraka

All of your instructors at New Media plan to raise the academic bar even higher for you in 2007. If you earned an A in the first semester, you will need to work twice as hard to maintain that A. If you earned a B and hope to raise your B grade to an A, then you will need to write, research and publish three times as much material as you did first semester.

Of particular importance in 2007 will be the overall presentation of your work.
All work must be relevant, engaging and edifying - and it must look good too.

Before you publish work onto your blog or wiki, please check your writing thoroughly for spelling, punctuation, grammar and capitalization errors. Ask your parents, an older sibling, a colleged cousin, an erudite uncle, a fearless friend to check and review your work (with you ) before you publish it on your blog. Posts containing more than five spelling, grammar, punctuation or capitalization errors will need to be removed from your blog.

Posts containing more than five errors will need to be SAVED AS DRAFT and removed from your blog until the necessary corrections have been made. After you make the corrections and once I approve the draft, then, you may republish the work back on your blog. Proofread all of your work before you publish it. I will not accept work written in Instant Messaging or Text Messaging code. All words must be written out completely and your ideas and responses need to be in sentence form.

On the other hand, I do encourage you to insert hyperlinks inside your essays, poems and reflections. Wesley Fryer, a noted blogger, educator and podcaster, calls hyperlinked writing "the most powerful form of writing that human beings have ever created" and I strongly agree with him. In 2007 I expect you to use hyperlinks generously in your autobiographical chapters, your tag wall reflections and your larger projects.

We will review inserting hyperlinks and editing your blog template in January.
If you want to add your favorite links to your blog then you need to edit your blog template. I will show you how to replace the Google News, Edit-Me links on the right side of your blog with links that you choose. It's a tricky process, so don't fiddle around with your blog template unless you are absolutely certain about what you are doing, otherwise, check with me first.

Also in January I plan to get deeper into how wikis work - creating wiki pages, editing wiki pages and adding hyperlinks to your wiki.

In 2007, expect to continue using the Web 2.0 tools we used in semester 1 - Survey Monkey,, Skype and a host of useful new and not-so-new Google widgets. We expect you to seamlessly integrate these tools into your projects, your activities and your presentations. Sign up for a Google account today if you don't have one.

Got a myspace account? Do you like visiting myspace during school hours? Can't get enough digital social networking? Then wait until you get a taste of the exciting myspace activity I have planned for you in 2007. Hint - Print Screen Key.

I expect all students to download Audacity, the free audio editor and recorder. Download Audacity today and start recording your written work immediately - your autobiography chapters, your poetry, your reflections and more. Practice saving your recordings to your flash drive - one file at a time, then try burning a collection of your tracks onto a CD. Please attempt this before we begin school on the 8th of January. Please purchase a computer microphone from any computer/electronics store. A microphone will make your voice sound clear and professional through any speakers or headphones.

All students should have a USB flash drive. You will need a USB flash drive to transfer the audio that you create in Audacity from your home computer, to the school computer and back again. You will also need a flash drive to copy and listen to various podcasts, video clips and other education materials that we share with you during the semester.

From this point forward, we expect you to manage, produce and organize your files smartly. A 512 MB flash drive or larger can hold a fair amount of multimedia and text files. Keep your flash drive clean and organized. Delete old files from your flash drive and make back ups of important ones on your home computer.

A major part of your classwork in 2007 will involve editing and producing your autobiography chapters. Your autobiography chapters must be posted on your wiki first, then recorded for either audio or video. Right now we are up to chapter 4. The chapters so far are:
1. Who Am I?
2. Before I Was, There Were
3. School 'Daze', The Early Years
4. I Grew Up Here.

Start writing and recording your autobiographical chapters now - at home. Start now, during the break, while you have some extra time on your hands. It's just as efficient and helpful for me to critique your audio and video recordings as it is for me to edit your wiki posts.

You are strongly encouraged to take photographs of and record video of the key people, places and things that you describe in chapters 1 through 4 (parents, grand parents, siblings, day care, elementary school, neighborhood, etc).

Start archiving your media for this project today. Create a folder for each chapter and as you amass your media drop it in its proper chapter folder. For the best results, please use a microphone when conducting interviews with a video camera.

2007 is dedicated to James Brown. May his genius and spirit inspire you to Do It To Death.
He said I Don't Want Nobody To Give Me Nothing Open Up The Door, I'll Get it Myself.

Do you hear me?

Happy New Year,

Mr. Songhai



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